Mark Maynard has a good post this morning that is mostly about vandalizing SUV’s. For years I have fought back the urge to deface all those pristine Explorers, Hummers and especially Cayannes (Ferdinand Porsche must be rolling over in his grave ever since this one came to be. Porsche management should be ashamed of themselves). Fortunately I think all we really need to do is wait a bit for gas prices to climb to $4-5/gallon. At that point natural selection will take its course and most of the suv’s will just get parked. But my main point here is with regard to the last paragraph of Mark’s post:
While we’re on the subject of, “Just how far is too far?”, what do you think about Peta’s new, “Your Daddy Kills Animals” campaign? Would you be pissed if you kid came home crying, with one of these comics tucked under her arm, asking why you delight in the murder of innocent little animals?
For many years I think PETAs tactics have just been stupid and most of the celebrities they have advertising for them are just dilettantes looking for attention. I don’t hunt, but that is not because I don’t believe in it. I just don’t feel like it. I have no problem with hunting or fishing. I do think that there need to be rules to prevent over hunting and fishing so that we preserve the population for the future but that is just common sense. We also need some safety regulations for hunting, like where you can and can’t hunt and making sure that hunters know how to properly use a firearm or bow or whateever. Where PETA could actually do something useful but doesn’t is the case of industrial farming. Any potential impact that PETA could have on industrial farming is largely lost because of their extremist views and tactics when it comes to hunting.
Industrial livestock farming does a great deal of harm to animals, and also to human health. They pack tens of thousands of animals (pigs, chickens, cows etc) into impossibly small condtions. They force feed these animals on feed that is not what they would normally eat, pump them full of hormones and antibiotics, and mutilate them to get them to grow as fast as possible so they can turn them around. They produce chickens and turkeys with big white meat breasts, but no taste. They make lots of milk but pass along antibiotics and hormones to humans. The antibiotics allow bacteria to grow resistant so that they become more dangerous and the normal human antibiotics become ineffective. The feed is made from all kinds of stuff the animals would normally never eat, like bones and brains of cows, leading to problems like mad cow disease. Cows are supposed to graze on grass in pastures.
Americans have become so used to eating artificially cheap food that all of these problems have become endemic. The problem is that instead of paying up front for good food, they pay after the fact in increased health problems, and tax dollars that go in insane farm subsidies to industrial farms. What proponents of those billions of dollars a year in subsidies don’t tell you is that the vast majority of those subsidies go to the huge factory farms not individual family farms. This money should be redirected toward a single payer universal health care. People need to stop supporting factory farms and buy there food from places like Sparrow Meats in Ann Arbor. All the meat Sparrow sells comes from local organic farmers. The beef is grass fed in a pasture, the chickens are free range and it all has vastly more flavor than anything with a Tyson or Purdue label. Whole Foods also sells a lot of produce and meat from local farmers.
Support your local farmers, buy good local grown and raised food. It is better for the farmers, better for the environment, and better for your health.